Page 1 of 1 [ 12 posts ] 

Do you work hard to appear normal?
Yes. 44%  44%  [ 11 ]
Yes, but not hard. Its easy to me. 8%  8%  [ 2 ]
Sometimes. 24%  24%  [ 6 ]
No. 24%  24%  [ 6 ]
Total votes : 25

Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

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Joined: 18 May 2022
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Posts: 159
Location: Israel

21 May 2022, 8:36 pm

Hey guys, its me again. How you doing? Well this time, I thought to talk to you about my hard work to appear normal. Yes, sometimes, I need to work really hard to appear normal, and maybe other people work hard to do the same thing too, if they have the Syndrome. I'd like to share my thoughts about this with you, and hope you can do the same thing, thanks.

Well, I'll start. Well basically, the hard work I've been putting towards appearing normal has been very exhausting sometimes. Its really hard work, just the way it sounds, and yes, its usually has never been easy. The reason why its hard work, is because there are many things you gotta pay attention to in order to appear normal to other people around you. Of course, you cant always appear 100% normal, but even appearing 90% normal is much better than 70% normal, for example, or something around that. However, there are also exceptions to the whole appearing normal idea. If I do things differently than how other people do, if its because of my special taste thanks to having the Syndrome, I dont necessarily work hard to change that. Why? Because difference in taste or external appearance might not always appear as something abnormal(not normal) to other people, it might just appear as a little different to them, a legitimate difference as they say. Thats why I dont work hard to appear normal in every single way possible. I mostly work hard to speak normal, behave normal, react normal, and also, react at the right time, talk at the right time, use the right words, at the correct pace, and so on. These things are important to give the other person a feeling like they're talking to a normal person, not someone who has a social problem. To this day, I might appear dull or bored/boring because I dont have much facial expressions, and I forget to smile sometimes. The whole smiling thing is also another thing I've been working hard on. But there are many other things too. So the whole working hard to appear normal idea is very important to me, I dont know what about you all. And the sad reality is, if they dont think you appear normal to them, their behavior / way of speaking with you or about you changes as well. They might even refuse to be your friend if you appear too weird to them. I dont mean to say what other people think about me matters that much, but appearing normal to me is important because I'm the kind of guy who wish he wasnt born with this Syndrome, simply because I need to work much harder to appear normal, while other people without the syndrome appear normal naturally, without having to work hard to do so.


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21 May 2022, 8:53 pm

I never had to work hard to pass.
I never need to act so-called "normal".

No speech issues. Sure, I suck at words but that's the end of it. I don't need to practice eye contact or tones...
What I need instead is how to regulate my emotions to reflect that.

:lol: Got no stimming behaviors to suppress. No impulsions to stop except a few habits here and there like craving chocolates.

No routines to be rigid over. So I'm good with unexpected calls and uncertainty.

Never have to pretend what I like or dislike -- because my interests and preferences never brought me into trouble, it's the opposite even.

No sensory issues severe enough to ever bring distress. No severe mental health issues to deal with. Unless you count picky eating.
Still got receptive issues to work with.

No need to script. No need to wear a mask.
I had it very easy. :lol: I'm not naturally clumsy or try hard to be social to gain friends.

I get friends. I don't even want them. It just happens for me. So I'll just honor them for it.

I don't work with "social skills".
I work with executive functions -- anything related to what's not visible and practical to be more in control and do so more naturally.
With executive functions, social skills will follow for me.

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Joined: 23 Feb 2010
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22 May 2022, 12:30 pm

Hard to say really, because a lot of the time I am natural and require little to no masking. Then I have moments where I think "oh, I better mask". Usually this occurs when:-

- There's a crying baby or toddler near me in public (I've got to tolerate it but inwardly I'm really angry and anxious about the noise)

- Someone says something that offends me but isn't meant to be offensive (I have to pretend I don't care even though I really want to yell "don't say that to me!" But I know that if I did, they'll think I'm weird and might feel they have to tread on eggshells around me, which isn't what I want people to do)

I have to work harder at being normal when in public places, like shopping malls and supermarkets, than I do around people who I know and am comfortable with. This is because strangers only notice what's on the outside and are quick to judge, and I can feel embarrassed easier when around strangers. Usually friends and family don't really notice certain quirks but strangers do and so when you're out in public you're expected to behave a certain way, can only talk about certain things and can only express certain emotions, and if you break any of these rules people will judge you by staring and laughing and jumping to conclusions that you're hilariously weird.

So when I'm out in public I've got to be this emotionless robot who mustn't talk about "daft" things or private things or anything that could make people judge. And when I'm on my own in public the rules are even stricterm I mustn't say my thoughts out loud, even just by miming with my lips, and I must just walk along like I don't care, I mustn't smile to myself or laugh or even murmur anything, otherwise people will turn around and look at me. If I'm waiting for a late bus I have to stand still and look calm and cool. No emotions must be expressed when you're on your own, not even in body language. It's all so much hard work, which is why I sometimes feel agoraphobic. Feeling agoraphobic is like I have lost my (metaphorical) mask.

Aged 32

Diagnosed with ADHD
Have Anxiety Disorder
Diagnosed with mild ASD but I don't identify as autistic


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23 May 2022, 6:31 pm

I work hard to appear normal, since i have been conditioned to since i was young. It has however Led to mental health problems and a lot of resentment towards the world so can't recommend it. If you can get help and understanding, don't force yourself all the time to appear normal.


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Joined: 4 Feb 2014
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23 May 2022, 6:35 pm

I don't work very hard on the subway----that's for sure. :jester:

I believe I'll have to modify my act a little bit, though----what with all the recent well-publicized violence on it.


Joined: 28 Sep 2016
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23 May 2022, 7:30 pm

I have to work hard at it because my job demands excellent social skills.



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23 May 2022, 7:41 pm

I'm not sure what the survey means.

If I tried to act normally, yes it would be very hard work.

Do I attempt to act normally? No, never.

I'll never be normal and I don't want to be.

Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 23 May 2022
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Location: Kansas City

23 May 2022, 10:05 pm

I often make facial expressions that don't make sense for what I'm saying or what the other person is saying. If I try to have a basic level conversation I feel lost if someone catches me off guard with something I wasn't expecting.

Even when I make a concentrated effort to listen sometimes I just don't. Same goes I'm trying to look for something like at the store or if someone says, "It's over there, look." I have too many images floating around in my head to look and listen well. And anyone who has spent any amount of time around me has caught me talking to myself in full sentences because I do it constantly.

So my mask is always been my way of trying to compensate for these things. So hopefully if I got caught that people wouldn't think I was lazy, crazy, or stupid. I feel like my mask has been pretty effective in the sense that no one in my life has ever suggested that I may be autistic or even have ADHD. But I don't think it's a very good one because I rely a lot on self-deprecating humor. I don't really challenge other people for fear that they'll challenge me back and I'll get lost and look like a deer in the headlights. I'm overly nice and not assertive. That way if I screw up hopefully people won't get mad at me.

I have come up with a few ideas that seem to help. For one thing when I get lost in my mind's visualizations and I need to get myself to where I can be functional around an NT, I noticed that if I look straight up or straight to the right I don't visualize. Also when I get lost in these maladaptive daydreams I noticed that there's almost always a part of my body that's tense. So I try to do a body scan and find the specific area whether it's legs or shoulders or stomach or what and consciously relax those muscles.

Eye contact is never bothered me however I learned recently that part of the deal with autism is that some people can't look and think at the same time, and I'm one of them. Well I guess maybe that would be part of the sensory processing. I'm still new at this. Anyway, I think that's also part of the reason why I don't listen well and look lost when people are talking to me. So I've been practicing not making eye contact when people are giving me information that I need and then I'll look up and meet their eye when I say something that doesn't require any thought like giving verbal feedback (i.e. "alright that makes sense") or I'll look somebody in the eyes and say "Talk to you later, have a good one" when the conversation is over. That way I'm not weirdly never making eye contact.

I hope this was helpful and I'm certainly open to suggestions myself


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Joined: 4 May 2020
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23 May 2022, 11:06 pm

I work very hard to seem as allistic as I can. I don't really succeed at it though, and it leaves me constantly overwhelmed and exhausted.

I use he/him pronouns.

I watch a lot of cartoons and anime. I also have a cat and a rabbit as pets. I like to learn + catalogue information about other organisms, especially rodents (+ related animals) and great apes.

I don't often respond to PMs, unless I interact with the person that's PMing me a lot on the forums.


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24 May 2022, 5:36 am

No I wouldn't say I work hard at it. I put in a bit of effort here and there to try and make sure I won't creep people out, but it's not normally hard work. I'm currently living in a fairly cosmopolitan city anyway, and I try not to have much to do with people who feel threatened by a bit of eccentricity, and prefer people with a bit of individual character. I've always felt that it's silly to think somebody who's a bit unusual is any kind of a threat or a good target for ridicule or attack, and when I was younger I used to wear my unusualness as something of a badge of honour, having never thought very highly of stereotyped, mainstream "normal" people. I think England may be a bit more tolerant towards eccentric people than some parts of the USA. In any case, I'm a performing musician, and I think we're expected to be a bit odd. At a gig a couple of years ago there was a man in the audience with stubble on his face, and he was wearing a frilly dress. Nobody batted an eyelid. When I realised that was the case, I knew I was in a good place. I was still a bit worried that I might somehow annoy somebody and get rejected, and feared that nobody was interested in me in a positive way, but these days I'm paranoid like that. But that's more based on my social ineptitude and feelings of inferiority. There's no point in me trying to put on an act to conceal anything, it's more a matter of learning how to relate to people and treat them fairly, to try to be sensitive to their feelings and to be friendly without being invasive. A lot of "normal" people don't do particularly well with those things.


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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
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24 May 2022, 9:59 pm

Nope. One advantage of being an Ok Boomer is people expect you to just not get it. Also having physical disabilities really does lower expectations.

When I was young and undiagnosed while I was aware I was different I did not understand how different. I just thought that most people found what I found difficult they found difficult. I had no idea a lot of it was natural to them.

Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


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25 May 2022, 4:06 am

Na I have always liked being myself. If others don't like me that's too bad. They have to accept me anyway. :) Of course as a mature person I have learned through experience about being nice to others and pretend to understand them sometimes. The only time I try to appear "normal" is at DH's family parties. I don't want him to lose face in front of his massive extended family. Thank goodness we rarely go to these parties. My body doesn't like anxiety and stress too well, even when I can hardly feel it, I would have some physical symptoms already.

AQ score: 44
Aspie mom to two autistic sons (20 & 19 )